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February 8th, 2012 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs: Super PACs-a-Plenty

We’re the only newspaper—except for the others.

murmurs.colbert_3814COLBERT - Image courtesy comedycentral.com
  • Katie Riley, a Democrat making her second run at the House District 29 seat, currently held by Rep. Katie Eyre (R-Hillsboro), learned an important lesson this week: If you are going to misrepresent your opponent’s record, don’t do it in a voicemail. Riley recently left a message for a potential contributor claiming to be “the only pro-choice candidate running in this district.” That’s news to her rival for the Democratic nomination, Ben Unger, who sat with Riley at a Planned Parenthood lunch last week and has worked closely with that group and NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon for the past five years as a political organizer. Riley says her claim was a “mistake” and she knows Unger is pro-choice.

House District 29 candidate Katie Riley tells a potential contributor she is the only pro-choice candidate in her race.


  • Oregonians so far haven’t been big givers to Super PACs, the game-changing independent committees that—thanks to a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision—can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to boost or attack a candidate. But Federal Election Commission records show one Southwest Portland resident, Joan Peters, gave $250 to the most famous Super PAC: Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, formed by Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert. Colbert used his Super PAC to finance his satirical presidential bid in the South Carolina GOP primary. “It’s my way of being able to support democracy,” Peters, an unemployed nurse, tells WW. “I think it’s a powerful thing to do, through satire, to show what mockery is really happening—and how we’re being mocked by the regular campaigns.”
  • Portland police rushed to issue a press release Feb. 3 when vandals hit cars in the city’s Southwest neighborhoods and Lake Oswego. The Oregonian wrote at least three articles on the spree that left 100 cars with paint damage or broken windows; the paper quoted one Lake O resident decrying vandalism in his “nice neighborhood.” Our sympathies to those whose property was damaged, but maybe the emphasis is misplaced. A quick look at Portland police statistics shows that, in the 12 months ending in December, there were 369 reported incidents of vandalism in Southwest Portland—compared with 1,359 incidents in East Portland, none of which merited a police press release.
  • Families of two alleged hazing victims at Grant High School have accused KGW-TV Channel 8 of airing a bogus interview with a woman who posed as one of the victim’s relatives. As first reported on wweek.com, the families told school officials the anonymous woman wasn’t related to them and that she discussed phony details about the sexual nature of the alleged hazing. KGW—which kept her face shadowed—removed the video from the station’s website and hasn’t been able to confirm the woman’s story. News Director Rick Jacobs declined to comment on what happened.
 
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